This isn’t news, of course. Everybody knows the seasons overlap in the land of retail.
But it still strikes me as startling to see.
Okay, I know that maybe it’s not that strange to have Santa Claus cuddling the baby Jesus.
But for a kid who was raised in the Baptist church, the mix of holiday images is just weird to me.
So Santa under the Christmas tree with Jesus = huh?
So Santa right there in the manger = double huh?
Next you’re gonna tell me the Little Drummer Boy is supplying sticks for plugging holes in Noah’s Ark?
Here at the blog this time of year, we seek out all kinds of Christmas ornaments. Most of them are tacky or silly or fun pop culture-based baubles.
Sometimes they make us hungry.
Example? The hotdog basket ornament above. The iPhone snapshot doesn’t do it justice. This is a realistic looking dog. And the little container of ketchup!
And what better to go along with it? (Just in case you didn’t get enough on the side.)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: That’s right. It’s time for iPhone photos of the best and worst and most offbeat Christmas stuff out there in retail land.
Since 1965, when “A Charlie Brown Christmas” debuted on CBS, the images from that series have been a part of our culture. Maybe now more than ever.
A few years ago, Peanuts Christmas decor started popping up, including little figures of Charlie and friends in wintertime scenes.
The ultimate Peanuts Christmas decor has to be the little tree, as seen above.
Nothing like a pathetic little tree to inject some cheer into your Christmas.
Really, though, what I want to see is a larger-than-life version. Surely somebody has turned this little twig into their Christmas tree at home?
This one puzzles me. A Charlie Brown lighted box? To hang over your bar?
As Calvin’s dad used to say, it’s a very special time! No, it’s not bath time. It’s time for more iPhone photos of Christmas stuff.
This time: Christmas at the dollar store.
This is too easy, really. Considering the offshore origin of most of these products, it’s probably no surprise that the packaging would contain a misspelling of the word ornaments.
I’m not sure if something got lost in translation here too. I always thought these were called snow globes. Maybe water balls is the acceptable name when there’s not really a lot of artificial snow included, which is the case here.
Here’s something for your jolly old elf and eight tiny reindeer: A tiny lunchbox. Actually, I suppose it’s intended as a gift box. But it would be perfect for taking your Christmas-themed Little Debbies to work.
Here’s some packaging that’s intentionally funny. If it’s too hard to read, the basic joke is that this Christmas cotton candy is guaranteed to prompt a smile in “typically pleasant individuals.”
“If you are a major grouch that doesn’t smile at a puppy or a rainbow then even we can’t help you.”
More next time.
You knew it was inevitable: After posting pictures of Halloween masks, costumes and decor available for sale, was there any doubt I would be posting pics of Christmas stuff?
Well, I had some doubts. There’s not as much outrageous Christmas stuff out there — no Navidad equivalents of Zombie Babies, for example — so there might not be enough material for weeks and weeks of posts.
So we’ll see where this takes us.
Since “A Charlie Brown Christmas” debuted in 1965, the “Peanuts” creations of Charles M. Schulz have been forever linked to the holiday for many of us. A few years ago, some canny company began marketing versions of the Charlie Brown pathetic Christmas tree.
So seeing Charlie and Snoopy and pals “decking them halls” on the lawn seems perfectly appropriate.
If you’d like to make a silent statement, there’s good ol’ Snoopy alone. And he’s fuzzy!
I’m at a loss to explain the Santa Pig. Maybe some clued-in reader will enlighten me.
In the spirit of the season, how about a couple of pretty Christmas pics? These are of the big tree in the middle of the Von Maur department store at Castleton Square Mall on the north side of Indianapolis.
There are a lot of classic Christmas books and many of them are very familiar and much-beloved. But if you’re looking for an offbeat Christmas book for kids, check out “Santa Calls.”
The picture book by William Joyce tells the story — in tongue-in-cheek manner — of Art, a boy living in Texas in the early 1900s. Art is an inventor and self-styled adventurer who, along with his pal Spaulding, finds a mysterious crate. The box includes the makings of an early airship and, improbably, an invitation to come to the North Pole and find Santa.
Of course, much to Art’s dismay, his tag-along little sister, Esther, talks her way into the adventure.
The three kids find themselves involved in a wild and wooly battle, defending Santa and the North Pole against an evil queen. Art and Spaulding lead the fight and little Esther, much to Art’s surprise, proves her mettle.
The story and Joyce’s writing reminds me of old pulp stories and the ending — and the secret behind Santa’s call to arms — made me misty-eyed.
“Santa Calls” has become a favorite in our household. It’s a terrific and unexpected Christmas present.